This year, eVTOL.com made a significant move by combining with the world’s most popular vertical lift news site. While the publication found a new home within verticalmag.com, its readers have continued to find the same industry-leading coverage of the rapidly-developing eVTOL and urban air mobility markets. Reflecting back on the past year, we took a look at the 10 most popular eVTOL stories of 2022, measured by pageviews. (Click on the story titles to read the original articles.)
California-based battery startup Cuberg has claimed a breakthrough in battery development. The company told Vertical in July that its lithium metal cells are among the highest performing and longest-lived lithium metal cells in the world, sufficient enough to support the expected flight range and lifetime requirements of all typical eVTOL aircraft coming to market.
With plans to build its first conforming eVTOL aircraft in 2023, German startup Lilium shared aircraft design changes with shareholders in June. Among the changes includes a new short running landing capability, which the company claims will increase its battery reserve range.
Lilium’s previous goal was to receive type certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2024, but company executives adjusted its timeline to 2025 earlier this year based on its current design activity status to develop a safe aircraft, its discussions with regulators, and the global supply chain disruptions, they said.
eVTOL developers in the U.S. received surprising news in May when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reportedly decided to change direction on how it would certify winged eVTOL aircraft — moving from a pathway used for small airplanes (Part 23 of the federal code) to the special class of “powered-lift” aircraft (section 21.17(b)).
Coming off as the second most read story of 2021 for its compact, eye-catching design, U.K.-based Bellwether Industries released footage of its first untethered flight test with a half-scale Volar eVTOL prototype. The flight test took place in Dubai in November 2021.
Whisper Aero isn’t developing an eVTOL aircraft, but its next-generation propulsor technology is designed to be ultra-quiet and efficient, according to the company. With noise being a critical element for public acceptance of urban air mobility vehicles, the eVTOL industry can glean lessons from Whisper’s technology.
During a segment of CBS’ 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper in April, Gary Gysin, Wisk’s CEO, shared for the first time a glimpse into the company’s sixth-generation autonomous eVTOL aircraft. The segment also featured California-based Joby Aviation and Texas-based LIFT Aircraft, as well as cameos from Beta Technologies, Archer Aviation, EHang, and Lilium, among others.
Not long after the U.S. Air Force (USAF) announced its goal of achieving the first crewed flight of an eVTOL aircraft in February did the USAF achieve its mission. Hank “Hog” Griffiths and Major Jonathan Appleby became the first USAF pilots to fly Beta Technologies’ Alia electric aircraft in March.
Based in Orlando, Florida, JETX emerged onto the scene in 2021 when the company participated in the U.S. Air Force AFWERX HSVTOL Challenge. JETX is designing a modular propulsion system with vector thrust mechanisms that can be embedded in the airframe to create a hidden propulsion system.
After achieving its first untethered flight test with a full-sized ZEVA Zero in January, Vertical contributor Ben Forrest caught up with ZEVA to learn more about the technology behind its disc-shaped eVTOL aircraft.